Breakfast: Bacon and eggs and cheese… no, just kidding, none of that stuff. I did see a commercial for cheese the other day and my stomach gave off a mighty growl. Sigh. Anyway, just the usual stuff today (see Day 5’s entry) plus another soy mocha while working.
Lunch: I had some vegetable soup left, so I ate that and half a Tofurkey sandwich. The smoked Tofurkey is all right. It doesn’t taste like much on its own other than smoke flavors, but on a sandwich with jalapeno mustard, it was decent. I also had a handful of raspberries.
Snack Time: Tortilla strips with tomato and basil hummus. Yummy.
Dinner: I whipped up a quick bowl of very spicy beans and rice using leftovers before I got ready to head out to my extra super bonus social event!
Extra Super Bonus Social Event: Well, yesterday I alluded to a big challenge and this was it. A couple of weeks ago, before I decided to spend this week as a vegan, I put my name in to a drawing for tickets to a gala fundraiser and art show. I was at first thrilled to find out a few days ago that I’d won, but elation quickly turned to concern. The show was a fundraiser for the Girl Scouts, and another feature of the event was a cooking contest. Some great area chefs would be showing up to bake and serve desserts using Girl Scout Cookies, which are on sale starting this month. It seemed almost guaranteed that these delicious desserts would not be vegan-friendly. Sure, I could go and drink wine and look at art, but could I resist the temptation of a dozen delicious desserts that I can’t eat? I almost turned down the tickets, but then I reminded myself—this is a challenge. Sitting at home all week cooking my own menus is easy. Facing real temptation is hard. So I took the tickets, found myself a date to bring, and prepared for my willpower to be put to the test.
Surprisingly, I did some reading and found out that I might not be in as much trouble as I had first thought. No less of an authority than PETA has researched this matter and found out that there are, in fact, vegan-friendly Girl Scout Cookies. Four of the five egg- and dairy-free varieties from 2011, Thanks-A-Lots, Shout Outs!, Lemonades, and Peanut Butter Patties, have returned for 2012. I checked out the 2012 varieties and nutrition information on my own as well, since this info changes from year to year, and it appears that Thin Mints are now also made without eggs or dairy. This is not to say these cookies are healthy, because they’re not. In fact, I wonder if the real reason that so many cookies exclude eggs and milk is more for preservation than for dietary needs, but I was glad to think that I could at least possibly have a cookie or two.
Of course, reality was a bit less rosy. It turned out that none of the several desserts on offer were dairy-free, but in a true achievement of willpower I resisted. I stuck to snacking on crackers, fruits, and wine, and felt really proud of myself. But it turns out that this vegan challenge is one of only many challenges in life. While I stuck to my resolution about meat and dairy, I was unable to prevent myself from drinking way more than I should have. I’m feeling the after effects of it today, and it’s got me discouraged. Here’s the thing about willpower: How is it that I can completely give up meat, dairy, animal byproducts for a week and stick with it, but I can’t show the same willpower on other commitments I’ve made to myself in the past? Like, saying I won’t call that guy anymore, or that I won’t get drunk tonight. Is there some fundamental difference between this resolution and those more toxic habits I can’t kick, or is it all just a matter of willpower?
One more day of this challenge remains. Then there are decisions to be made, like whether I’m ready to take on a far greater challenge next.